Farm and Food News

Staff member featured in 2018 Farmer’s Almanac

Center for Rural Affairs project organizer, Kirstin Bailey, is featured in The 2018 Old Farmer’s Almanac. Bailey was contacted to take part in their “Special Report: Faces of Farming,” a compilation of input from farmers and growers throughout America.

The answers Bailey and her fellow farmers provided spoke to both changes underfoot and timeless traditions.

Value-Added Producer Grant funds available

At Robinette Farms, funds from the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program help pay for processing, marketing, distribution, and sales of pasture-raised chickens, eggs, and microgreens.

This year, $18 million in funding is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) VAPG program. Paper applications are due Jan. 31, 2018, and electronic applications through www.grants.gov are due Jan. 24.

Local FARMS Act feeds rural economies

Last week, the Local Food and Regional Market Supply Act (The Local FARMS Act) was introduced in Congress by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE).

Through an investment in programs and policies that spur economic development, the act prioritizes the development of new markets for farmers and expanded healthy food access for American families.

More education needed on new crop insurance option

For many years, farmers across the country have purchased crop insurance policies as a way to manage the risk of a yield or income loss. Crop insurance has stepped into the spotlight as the highest costing federal farm program, at about $8 billion per year.

Despite the size of the program, crop insurance has not been available for many types of crops. And, often, for certain crops such as fruits, vegetables, or small grains, coverage is available only on a regional basis.

Let’s accurately frame Nebraska’s property tax challenge

Property tax relief and adequate funding for schools and local governments was the topic of a recent community conversation in Nebraska City, hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs. Community leaders and Otoe County residents gathered to discuss property tax challenges facing agricultural land and residential property owners and the radiating impact on schools and local governments.

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